10. Ohio, revisited (This time… Athens!!)

Ohio was state number 10, but we always wanted to get back and visit my college town, Athens, together. I’m happy to say we made it back, if only for 24 hours on our way to Kentucky!

It was great showing Matt around OU — eating and drinking our way down Court Street. We visited with my sorority sister, Lindsay, and my awesome old bosses at Brenens. 

With a stop at Little Fish Brewing, and fighting the rain to wind through campus, I’d say it was a great day with my favorite person in my favorite city!

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Travel Tip: How we save 20% or more on hotel rooms

You can get a lower price on just about anything with a bit of research and patience. Without a doubt, this goes for hotel rooms, too!

We save a lot of money on our quest to see the country by using Priceline’s Express Deals. Express Deals give you a pretty sizeable discount on hotel rooms — but you don’t know for sure what hotel you are getting until you finish booking.

Matt is great at finding amazing deals using this and the bidding tool ($104/night, including taxes and fees, to stay at a brand new, trendy hotel in Manhattan? SIGN ME UP.) He’s also great at figuring out which hotel we’re getting before it’s booked.

I’ve been planning a one-night stop in my college town of Athens, Ohio; a city with remarkably few affordable places to stay. Sorry, not sorry — I am not willing to pay $100/night for a 2-star hotel with mediocre reviews and within walking distance of nothing.

 

Anyway, I was browsing Priceline’s regular deals and getting ready to just suck it up and spend the cash — when I ran across this glaringly obvious Express Deal that saved me about 20%.

Here’s how they show up on the website. I knew the ‘secret’ Express Deal was the Baymont because the descriptions and stars are the same, and when I clicked on the deal, a popup told me “someone else just booked this room for $91!” Case closed.

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There are websites that will help you when it’s not this easy. Matt prefers ExpDeals, but we have also used Better Bidding. It just takes a little bit of reading and research and time, but the savings add up (especially if you’re booking for multiple nights).

Below is the end result: The left is what we would have paid, had we not bothered with the Express Deal — for the same exact dates and room. On the right is my receipt. A difference of about $20 I can now spend on delicious beers in Athens!!

A tip (From Matt): You might notice our taxes/fees are more expensive. With Express Deals, they’re calculated from the total *regular* cost of the room. With the bid tool, they’re calculated from your winning bid.

Happy haggling!!